The interrelated effect of sleep and learning in dogs (Canis familiaris); an EEG and behavioural study

Sci Rep. 2017 Feb 6;7:41873. doi: 10.1038/srep41873.

Abstract

The active role of sleep in memory consolidation is still debated, and due to a large between-species variation, the investigation of a wide range of different animal species (besides humans and laboratory rodents) is necessary. The present study applied a fully non-invasive methodology to study sleep and memory in domestic dogs, a species proven to be a good model of human awake behaviours. Polysomnography recordings performed following a command learning task provide evidence that learning has an effect on dogs' sleep EEG spectrum. Furthermore, spectral features of the EEG were related to post-sleep performance improvement. Testing an additional group of dogs in the command learning task revealed that sleep or awake activity during the retention interval has both short- and long-term effects. This is the first evidence to show that dogs' human-analogue social learning skills might be related to sleep-dependent memory consolidation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiology
  • Brain Waves*
  • Dogs
  • Female
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Sleep Stages*